How to Work with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

Why did I use such a quick shutter speed for that scene? By the looks of it, the water is quite still, there are no moving subjects and there’s still enough light to use a slightly slower shutter speed, right? Yes, however, this shot was taken from a boat and even though the waters were relatively still, I needed a very quick shutter speed in order to freeze the scene without any blur from camera movement.

iceberg and water - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

Use the ideal settings not perfect ones

Had I been standing on land, I could have easily used a slower shutter speed and achieved a similar look. In fact, the overall quality could have been even better as I could have used a lower ISO and an ideal aperture. However, the purpose of photography isn’t to always have the perfect settings; it’s having the ideal settings that allows you to get the shot within the given conditions. The most important is to actually capture the image.

For too long I was too focused on always having the perfect settings. The truth is that this often leads to missing the shot as you focus too much on the technical aspect rather than working with the conditions you’re given.

For example, using a slower shutter speed when standing on a boat (such as in the image above) would have led to the icebergs being blurry due to the motion. What would you prefer? A blurry picture which is “technically” perfect, or a sharp picture that doesn’t have the technically perfect settings?

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